AR Tritium Night Sights Anyone?

This is a discussion on AR Tritium Night Sights Anyone? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I have a standard stag arms model 1. Bone stock. With the impending political change and a company bonus coming up in a month, I ...

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Thread: AR Tritium Night Sights Anyone?

  1. #1
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    AR Tritium Night Sights Anyone?

    I have a standard stag arms model 1. Bone stock. With the impending political change and a company bonus coming up in a month, I am planning another AR purchase to pimp it out with accessories. And to keep my stag ar and possibly put tritium night sights on it (and a small flashlight).

    I was thinking the 24/7 tritium front post and the tritium same plane rear from xssights.
    Here's the link

    I really do not know much about the effectiveness of tritium on the AR platform. So, knowing the fact that I am going to buy another AR to pimp out with all the expensive accessories, what are your thoughts on the tritium sights for my current ar?

    Thanks.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array Knuckledrager's Avatar
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    They are good stuff but I would stick to the Trijicon and limit the installation to the front sight. If you use the sights correctly, you will not see the detail of the rear sight to see the two dots on them So many people do this that they sell the front sight post separately.
    "The liberty of the individual is no gift of civilization. It was greatest before there was any civilization." Sigmund Freud

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Personally, I like the idea of a nite site front sight pretty much just for indexing purposes. I just haven't made that purchase yet, and it's kind of not necessary the way I have mine set up now. Laser and flashlight mounted on it, and carry handle RedDot mounted. (This may go down on the flat top now I have my quad rail installed). I think the nite sites are better suited for close encounters and that would pretty much encompass pistols only for me. IMO, use your cash for a more useful mod on your AR. I realize some folks might use such a rifle as their HD weapon of choice, but to me that's an outside the abode ambush suppressor if you follow me. Hence---nite sites aren't really needed for the medium to long range weapon. On the other hand, they would do well on a shotgun in ghost ring style. Like I say--I'd use the allotted funds to-upgrade another mod, or get more ammo.

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    I had the front big dot on my old Bushmaster that I sold. I didnt think it was all that great. My current AR that rides around in my work car has standard sights. They work just fine.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Member Array Blackhawk6's Avatar
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    Tritium sights on an AR-15 offer very little in terms of enhancing performance and are generally more trouble than they are worth.

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    sixto - do you have a flashlight attached to your work ar? If not, what would you do for aiming in low light situation?

    blackhawk6 - When you say offering little in terms of enhancing performance, what do you consider the ehancement? It seems to me the trouble would be the cost of buying a tritium front sight and the time to install the sight. I am just trying to get a picture of your cost/benefit calculation.

    Right now, I am contemplating ordering the trijicon front tritium and possibly a light to mount to bayonet lug via a picatinny rail and calling it a day. I am interested in your opinions that my sway my decision to something else, point out a better option or reinforce my decision. Wisdom is found in a multitude of counsel.

    Again, thanks all for the replies.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sojourner View Post
    sixto - do you have a flashlight attached to your work ar? If not, what would you do for aiming in low light situation?
    No, I dont. I probably should though. I use one of my handhelds wedged in between my index and middle finger of my offhand. It works well enough, but I really should order a WML.

    My other guns I use more have 'em. I just use my AR for patrol work. Search warrant entry's take downs and the like I use a HK a short shotgun or pistol all with a WML.
    Last edited by SIXTO; February 6th, 2008 at 12:12 AM.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Member Array Blackhawk6's Avatar
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    Practically speaking, a target illuminated by good light will provide sufficient contrast for you to use normal iron sights. Obviously, once the target is beyond the reach of the light, you lose the ability to use your iron sights. I use a surefire M900A on my rifle and find 100 yards to be about the limit. Beyond that, a tritium sight would be of value. However, the tritium sight adversely effects accuracy to some degree and optics are a much better alternative.

    Because the lamp is not visible to the shooter from every position, you may find that you have to adjust your sight to be one or two clicks off for elevation in order to be able to see the lamp. One or two clicks is not an enormous amount up close, but it becomes more significant at longer ranges, especially once other considerations such as the trajectory of the round are factored in.

    Additionally, the lamp is located below the tip of the front sight. Under low-light conditions, this changes the manner in which you align your sights. You will now be centering the lamp and the tip of the front sight will actually be higher than it should in the rear sight aperture. Theoretically, this problem can be alleviated by zeroing while centering the lamp rather than the front sight post in the rear sight aperture but in practice it really does not work all that well.

    Where the tritum front sight may have some utility is when using certain reflexive fire techniques. These techniques involve using the front sight without the rear sight to aim and are only useful at shorter ranges. A tritium sight would be beneficial when using one of these techniques without a light. If you are employing a light to identify your target, normal iron sights will work just as effectively.

    Optics such as the Aimpoint or Eotech have essentially replaced tritium sights on rifles. They provide a robust sighting system that is visible under the full range of lighting conditions but do so without creating elevation issues.

    My recommendation would be to take the money you would have spent on the tritium sight, combine it with what you had planned to spend on a light and purchase a better light. If you are concerned about making hits at ranges beyond your light's capability, invest in an optic such as an Eotech or Aimpoint.

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    Well, we use a combination of a Surefire mounted on the rail, the TRijicon ACOG RCO, and a laser system on front of the weapong that can project a visible beam.

    For close in work at night (under 100 yards) I find the laser to be the most consistent (just my experience) although the trijicon can pick up enough ambient light to work, and a flashlight is good, but really gives away your location.

    For civilian use any shot you make with an AR in low light is going to be rather close distance, and it points pretty well. I think I'd invest the money into something else for the AR myself, like mags and ammo.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    No, I dont. I probably should though. I use one of my handhelds wedged in between my index and middle finger of my offhand. It works well enough, but I really should order a WML.

    My other guns I use more have 'em. I just use my AR for patrol work. Search warrant entry's take downs and the like I use a HK a short shotgun or pistol all with a WML.
    Thanks for the reply. It helps in my decision making.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackhawk6 View Post
    Practically speaking, a target illuminated by good light will provide sufficient contrast for you to use normal iron sights. Obviously, once the target is beyond the reach of the light, you lose the ability to use your iron sights. I use a surefire M900A on my rifle and find 100 yards to be about the limit. Beyond that, a tritium sight would be of value. However, the tritium sight adversely effects accuracy to some degree and optics are a much better alternative.

    Because the lamp is not visible to the shooter from every position, you may find that you have to adjust your sight to be one or two clicks off for elevation in order to be able to see the lamp. One or two clicks is not an enormous amount up close, but it becomes more significant at longer ranges, especially once other considerations such as the trajectory of the round are factored in.

    Additionally, the lamp is located below the tip of the front sight. Under low-light conditions, this changes the manner in which you align your sights. You will now be centering the lamp and the tip of the front sight will actually be higher than it should in the rear sight aperture. Theoretically, this problem can be alleviated by zeroing while centering the lamp rather than the front sight post in the rear sight aperture but in practice it really does not work all that well.

    Where the tritum front sight may have some utility is when using certain reflexive fire techniques. These techniques involve using the front sight without the rear sight to aim and are only useful at shorter ranges. A tritium sight would be beneficial when using one of these techniques without a light. If you are employing a light to identify your target, normal iron sights will work just as effectively.

    Optics such as the Aimpoint or Eotech have essentially replaced tritium sights on rifles. They provide a robust sighting system that is visible under the full range of lighting conditions but do so without creating elevation issues.

    My recommendation would be to take the money you would have spent on the tritium sight, combine it with what you had planned to spend on a light and purchase a better light. If you are concerned about making hits at ranges beyond your light's capability, invest in an optic such as an Eotech or Aimpoint.
    Great and informative post. That's the kind of information that is going to help me in making a decision.

    M900A looks to cost $616. Ouch. With that, it may be worth it to go the route of the EOTech, Aimpoint or ACOG. Maybe I'll look for a little less expensive light to mount on the bayonet lug.

    Life was simpler when I was in the marines. M16A2. No high-falutin tech-weenie optics/lights/accessories.

    Properly equiping an AR is like properly accessorizing a Harley. The expenses come after the initial purchase.

  13. #12
    Senior Member Array MR D's Avatar
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    well technically my ACOG is a tritium sight...

    that is what makes it glow at night - keep your eyes open for a pre-owned one

    mine was in a favorite shop for about half of the price of the new one sitting next to it -even the CFO/SO isn't too shook up by it -

    told her I may get her an AR next (before the election) she didn't look at me that funny way she does sometimes...

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    Quote Originally Posted by buckeyePFC View Post
    Well, we use a combination of a Surefire mounted on the rail, the TRijicon ACOG RCO, and a laser system on front of the weapong that can project a visible beam.

    For close in work at night (under 100 yards) I find the laser to be the most consistent (just my experience) although the trijicon can pick up enough ambient light to work, and a flashlight is good, but really gives away your location.

    For civilian use any shot you make with an AR in low light is going to be rather close distance, and it points pretty well. I think I'd invest the money into something else for the AR myself, like mags and ammo.
    Thanks for your input. The options are some that I may be looking into for my future pimped out AR.

    I cannot believe how complex it is accessorizing an AR. I remember qualifyng at up to 500 yards with the A2 and iron sights. It's a whole different ballgame now.

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    I guess I should have asked what you planned on doing with it. I dont think its all that important to have a light mounted on a rifle, unless you are using it for HD or something like that. I use mine when I need a little more reach than my normal choices give me, so a light is further down on the list.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    We still qual at 500 with irons, but for all of our grunt work we now use pimped out blaster rifles. I know that I have fired with stock sights at night, and visibility wasn't really a problem, then again, I have those young eyes still.

    Quote Originally Posted by sojourner View Post
    Thanks for your input. The options are some that I may be looking into for my future pimped out AR.

    I cannot believe how complex it is accessorizing an AR. I remember qualifyng at up to 500 yards with the A2 and iron sights. It's a whole different ballgame now.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

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